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Monday, August 24, 1998 Published at 10:19 GMT 11:19 UK


Robbie Williams warms V98's damp hearts

Robbie Williams: Called Nicole and told her he wanted her Back For Good

Robbie Williams warmed the hearts of soaked fans at the weekend's V98 festival in Chelmsford, Essex - by telling them how he serenaded his All Saints girlfriend Nicole Appleton to win her back after they split up.

Dressed in a tuxedo, he told the 30,000 crowd: "As you know, my girlfriend dumped me, and so I went on holiday with the lads. But then I missed her, so I rang her, and this is what I said."

He then performed Take That's old hit Back For Good - with Ms Appleton watching from the wings, preparing for her own performance with All Saints in the festival's dance tent.

Many excited fans had to be pulled from the crush at the front of the stage during Williams' performance, which followed a day of heavy rain and strong winds.

[ image: James Brown: Still feeling good at V98]
James Brown: Still feeling good at V98
Festival hailed as success

The crowd made the best of things - by huddling under tents, trees and plastic bags - but the site did not become a mudbath, unlike June's Glastonbury Festival.

Fans are hailing the V98 festivals - held simultaneously in Chelmsford and Leeds - as a success, despite the appalling weather at the festival's southern site on Sunday.

The Verve and the Lightning Seeds played at Chelmsford on Saturday, before travelling to Leeds for Sunday night. Robbie Williams and The Charlatans played Leeds on Saturday, before moving onto Chelmsford.

Tickets for both venues sold out in July, and police reported 10-mile traffic jams leading up to the Chelmsford site.

Other highlights included a rare performance from soul superstar James Brown, PJ Harvey's first concert appearance in two years, and a celebrity five-a-side football match at the Chelmsford site.

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